Recent Fire Damage Posts

Heating and Home Fires.

1/7/2019 (Permalink)

Heating is the second leading cause of a home fire next to cooking. We always think of candles and cooking causing fires but we need to think of being safe when we heat our home too. 

Here are some safety tips:

Use your fire place safely. Always use metal or heat tempered glass screens when using a fireplace.

Never use an oven or stove top to heat your home.

Keep wood stove door closed unless adding wood or pellets or stoking the fire.

Make sure your space heater has an automatic shut off. If it tips over then it goes off. 

It's always best to test your smoke alarms at least once a month.  

Always remember to turn off a space heater when leaving the room or going to bed.

SERVPRO of Baltimore's Inner Harbor is here to help if a fire happens in your home. Give us a call at 410-6373433 . 

https://www.hvfd6.org/safety/winter-fire-safety/

Keeps your doors closed at night.

8/1/2018 (Permalink)

Did you know that 40 years ago you had about 17 mins. to get out of your house during a fire?

Now you have have about 3 mins. This is due to the synthetic materials, furniture and construction materials that we use.

Fire spreads faster than ever. Having your door closed can save your life. It gives you more time to find a way out before the room fills with smoke or more time to be rescued. 

Having the door closed slows down the smoke, hear and fire itself.

One concern that people had with having the door was that they wouldn't be able to hear the alarm. The difference, in one study, showed that there was only a 17 decimal difference between the door closed and opened. It was still loud enough to hear the alarm in the room with the door closed.

Along with the alarm, having the door closed can save your life.

Get in the habit of closing the door.

It's no joke.

7/3/2018 (Permalink)

There is always a joke about buying Fireworks that comes out on the 4th of July.

It goes something like this," always buy from the guy missing a few fingers; you know he always has the good ones!"

Kind of funny but not so much if it happens to you.

Every 4th of July people get hurt with fireworks. Some lose a finger, some lose their home to fire and some even worse.

It's not hard to believe that some people call the 4th of July the deadliest of holidays.

If your going to enjoy setting off  fireworks this year just  follow the instructions on the firework as well as these  few more tips:

Have a bucket of water near by

Light one at a time

Don't try to re-light a "dud" firework. Give it some time and then soak it in water

Wear safety glasses

Don't let children handle fireworks

Always be a safe distance from any buildings or cars

Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting and then tossing in a metal trash can

The last thing I can say is don't forget to pack your common sense this holiday and anytime you light off fireworks check your surrounds and look for things that could go wrong.

You don't want to be like the guy in joke!

Summertime and outdoor fires go hand and hand.

6/13/2018 (Permalink)

Who doesn't love sitting outside in the summer and enjoying an outdoor fire?

Those lazy night of summer can be fun but don't get lazy when it comes to the fire.

When you are building a fire pit. Make sure it's downwind of your camp site or any backyard items.

ideally you should clear out a 10 foot radius of space around your pit. Make sure there isn't any tree limbs hanging down as well.

Before you build the fire make sure the weather conditions are in the safe zone. Dry, windy weather for example can be a bad time to have an outdoor fire.

When you have finished enjoying the fire make sure it's out. Even if the embers are gray it doesn't mean it's safe.

Pour water on the fire and then stir it with a shovel to test for any hot spots

Summertime is a great time to be lazy but not when it comes to the fire.

Should you keep your door closed at night?

5/15/2018 (Permalink)

To be safer from a fire, than the answer is yes.

Did you know that 40 years ago you had about 17 mins. to get out of your house during a fire?

Now you have have about 3 mins. This is due to the synthetic materials, furniture and construction materials that we use.

Fire spreads faster than ever. Having your door closed can save your life. It gives you more time to find a way out before the room fills with smoke or more time to be rescued. 

Having the door closed slows down the smoke, hear and fire itself.

One concern that people had with having the door was that they wouldn't be able to hear the alarm. The difference, in one study, showed that there was only a 17 decimal difference between the door closed and opened. It was still loud enought to hear the alarm in the room with the door closed.

Along with the alarm, having the door closed can save your life.

Get in the habit of closing the door.

Have a plan!

5/15/2018 (Permalink)

Fire experts agree that people have as little as two minutes to escape a burning building before it is too late to exit safely. When it comes to a fire escape plan, every second counts. In a matter of seconds, even the smallest flame can become a massive blaze. The American Cross conducted a survey that found only 26% of families have made and practiced their fire escape plans. If you don't have a plan in place for your home or business, use these tips to develop one!

Draw a map of each level of your home indicating exits (windows and doors)

Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on higher floors. Store them near the window. If you buy these ladders, make sure they are tested by a reliable testing laboratory

Pick a meeting place outside that keeps a safe distance from your home. Mark it well so everyone remembers where it is

Teach the youngest members of your family how to escape on their own if no one is able to help them. Make accommodations for the elderly, disabled, and your pets

Practice your plan at least twice a year (once during the day and once at nighttime)

Fires can be unpredictable, so your escape plan shouldn't be! Restoring your property after a fire shouldn't be difficult either. That's why SERVPRO of Howard County works so efficiently to cleanup your property ASAP after damage or a loss.

Are there more than one way to clean your items after a fire?

1/5/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Are there more than one way to clean your items after a fire? Now to clean up the items after a fire.

You had a fire and were so glad that it was able to be put out but then your realize, " Wow, what a mess now."

You now may have water damage, fire extinguisher damage , odor damage, soot damage,  just to name a few.

SERVPRO is here to help figure out exactly how to clean what and with what method.

There is: Dry Cleaning, Wet Cleaning, Spray and Wipe, Foam Cleaning, Abrasive Cleaning, Immersion Cleaning to name some. 

If you have valuable documents SERVPRO might use: Air Drying, Dehumidification, Freeze Drying, Vacuum Freeze Drying or Vacuum Thermal Drying.

SERVPRO can coordinate with your Electronic Clean up. Believe it or not, some or all of your electronics can be restored.

So to answer the question...Yes, there is more than one way to clean your items after a fire.

Smoke Behavior Is No Joke

7/26/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Smoke Behavior Is No Joke Your belongings after a fire, aren't just debris. Your belongings are pieces of your life that deserve care to be restored to the best of our ability.

Fire losses and the damage they leave behind can be an incredibly complex job to deal with. This is caused largely by the behavior of smoke. When our SERVPRO of Baltimore's Inner Harbor professionals respond to a call for a fire job, their initial goal is to determine the extent of damage from fire itself, smoke, heat, and moisture. Not only do we deal with damage to building structures, but we work to clean a building's contents and your belongings as well.

Our SERVPRO trained professionals are trained to understand how smoke penetrates various cavities within the structure, causing hidden damage and odor. Our teams' knowledge of building systems helps them investigate how far smoke damage may have spread. We know it can be stressful when you don't understand the issues facing your home, so take a moment to read up on the different kinds of smoke and soot that could potentially effect your property.

While there are technically only two different types of smoke - wet and dry, there are varying types of soot residue after a fire. Here's a handy glossary of smoke and soot types that might come in handy if you're ever faced with the misfortune of dealing with a property fire:

Wet smoke (plastic & rubber): Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. These smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry smoke (paper & wood): Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises and thus so does the smoke

Protein fire residue (caused by evaporation of material instead of fire): Virtually invisible discolors paints and varnishes, extremely pungent odor

Fuel oil soot (furnace puff backs): While "puff backs" can create havoc for homeowners, SERVPRO can, in most cases, restore your contents and your Baltimore structure quickly (thanks to their training)

Additionally, we do deal with tear gas, fingerprint powder, and fire extinguisher resides. These special situations require special care and evaluation.

Understanding and having the ability to differentiate between these different types of smoke and soot is part of SERVPRO's specific training which makes us a cut above any other Baltimore local restoration team. Trusting a company to care about your home like you do can seem daunting and feel impossible, but when it comes to SERVPRO, you can trust that you're always in good hands. We make it, "Like it never even happened."

How To: Deal with Fire Damage Until SERVPRO Arrives

6/15/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How To: Deal with Fire Damage Until SERVPRO Arrives Home fires can occur around or upwards of 70,000 times per year. It's better to read what to do now, than to be confused later!

Fire damage itself is enough trouble as is, but most forget that smoke damage and other odors can be just as much of a nuisance. After a fire, it's important to act appropriately in order to avoid secondary damage. These dos and don'ts might come in handy to help you increase chances of a successful restoration.

DO:

  • Limit movement. Extensive movement can further embed soot particles in your carpet and other upholstered surfaces
  • Keep you hands clean so you don't transfer any soot around and damage walls and woodwork, etc.
  • Put dry, colorfast towels and/or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas
  • If your electricity has failed, empty any fridges and freezer entirely. Then prop their doors open to prevent odor
  • If you have chrome appliances or trim, you can wipe soot from those surfaces and apply a thin coating of lubricant to them
  • If you fire occurs during winter and your heat fails, pour RV antifreeze into sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks, and tubs to ensure your pipes and other fixtures don't freeze
  • Change your HVAC filters, but leave the system off until it is checked by a professional
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over your air registers. This keeps soot particles out of your HVAC system

DON'T:

  • Don't try to wash any walls or painted surfaces without calling SERVPRO of Baltimore's Inner Harbor to consult about the extent of the damage
  • Don't shampoo carpet of upholstered furniture
  • Don't try to clean any electrical appliances that might have been close to the flames, heat, or water, because they might have become contaminated
  • If your ceiling is wet, do not turn on the fan. The wiring might be wet or damaged and could cause electrical shock. Air movement could also spread around other particles and cause secondary damage
  • Don't send your garments to the dry cleaner, as improper cleaning might only set in the smoke odor

If your home or business is faced with fire damage, don't try to clean it yourself. Our SERVPRO professionals are given special training and specific equipment to mitigate fire damage without furthering damage. 

Grilling Should Be A Good Time

6/7/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Grilling Should Be A Good Time Grilling safety can be the difference between a fun summer evening and a visit from Baltimore City Fire

As the weather gets warmer, we are sure you're turning the temperature up on your grills to enjoy a meal outside this summer. Don't let a fire get in the way of your good time. If you follow these safety tips, your summer meals should go off without a hitch! Check these out courtesy of SERVPRO and the National Fire Protection Association:

  • If your grill is propane or charcoal powered (it probably is) only use it outside
  • Keep your grill away from your house or any overhangs, etc. that could catch flame if the blazes get too high
  • Children and pets should be kept away from the grill
  • Be sure to remove and clean any grease and/or fat build up
  • Don't walk away from the grill when it's on. Always supervise an in-use grill
  • Use tools with long handles meant for grilling, to avoid any injury

Grilling is a classic summer routine for your family, and maybe even for your business. Don't let small errors turn into a big mess. If you do have a grill mishap and your property experiences any fire damage, give us a call and we'll have you back to grilling in no time! 

410-637-3433

 

Dryer Fire: It Rhymes So You'll Never Forget It!

4/14/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Dryer Fire: It Rhymes So You'll Never Forget It! Big fire damage can come from even the smallest places.

According to FEMA, failing to clean your home dryer causes 34% of home dryer fires.

These dryer fires cause $35 million in property loss and are also capable of causing injury or even death.

Reducing your risk for dryer fire is incredibly simple. Let SERVPRO clean your vents and ducts that may being holding lint buildup. 

The National Fire Protection Agency recommends that you clean your dryers lint filter every time you do a load of laundry. This ensures the outdoor vent flap will open with ease. This flap could be restricted by snow or even a bird's nest.

Let our specifically trained technicians make sure all of your vents, filters, and ducts aren't restricted and can let air flow freely.

For more info about the vent and duct cleaning services SERVPRO offers, give us a call at 410-6373433

What's That Smell...?

4/12/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage What's That Smell...? Fire damage can be more extensive than you think. Odors are a part of the destruction a fire can leave you with after the flames are extinguished.

Have you ever noticed how when you burn a bag of popcorn in the microwave the smell seems to linger for way longer than it should?


That's what happens with even the smallest fire in your home or business. After a fire if the area isn't properly cleaned, restored, and deodorized the burnt scent  can hold onto to your space for years to come. The smoke from a fire is what carries the awful scent throughout a structure. This smoke sets into any surface it can touch.


If a cleanup isn't executed as fast as possible, the residue can cause permanent damage and could even cause the smell to come back! 


The SERVPRO of Baltimore's Inner Harbor team is highly trained to locate and remove the source of the odor. Other professionals will just mask the scent with a fragrance of some kind and once it wears off, you're left with the bill and no actual solution to your odor problem. 


Our professionals also work to make sure you understand all of your possible options when it comes to deodorization. 


We make it "Like it never even happened." 


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